Summary: This sermon ties together Exodus 34:29-35 and 2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:2 in an effort to deal with the things in our lives that keep us from fully experiencing the glory of God.
Do Not Lose Heart
Intro: Many times I’ve heard it said that a woman who is having a baby has a certain “glow” about them. It is certainly true that most people express their emotions, both positive and negative on their faces. We know when we see a smile, the person is probably in a good mood. When we see a wrinkled brow, we know the person is either deep in thought or upset. The face is often the window not only to the emotions; but in this passage, into the very soul of a man.
I. Exodus 34: 29 – 35 story deals with Moses and how God’s glory was reflected in his face.
A. Moses’ “shine” was a gift of God, which came to him as he devoted himself to doing God’s will and work. --- Moses was giving himself to the will of God and his shine was a byproduct of his commitment and focus.
B. Too often we try to be about the light rather than about the work. --- our attention and focus are on the by-product rather than the work. --- Make Christ shine through us by doing Christ’s work in the world.
C. God calls us to keep our focus on doing Christ’s work. – things we resent doing if forced – we gladly do for someone we love.
II. 2 Cor. 3:12 -13 – Paul is thinking back to the passage from Exodus.
A. It is difficult to explain Paul’s use of the story of the veil. There is no ground in Exodus for the suggestion that Moses used a veil to hide the fact that his face was losing its radiance.
B. Read Vs. 14& 15 – Veils that keep people from seeing the real and true “glory of God.”
C. Is there a veil over our minds – we read scripture, hear the Bible – Our efforts to encounter God seem futile. – Can God’s word really transform our lives?
III. VS. 16 – 18 – Accademia in Florence – Michelangelo’s statues – “The Prisoners”
A. Perhaps you have caught a glimpse of the glory of the Lord – music, prayer , sermon and you want it to last forever as did the disciples with Jesus at his “transfiguration”
B. When it doesn’t “LAST” – when the glory fades, we lose heart and begin to despair
C. 2 Cor 4:1 – Paul says the Corinthians can have their veil removed only through Christ. We too can have our veils removed. Not immediately – the change we experience through Christ is a process moving from one degree of glory to another.
Conclu: It is the Spirit of Christ who gives us life and hope to overcome the veils that lie over our minds and prevent us from encountering God. --- Do not lose heart --- for in the presence of the Lord – the glory of the Lord will be revealed.